(Hamilton, Ont.)… The Rochester Americans closed out the regular season with a 4-1 road victory over the Hamilton Bulldogs at Copps Coliseum on Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Amerks finish with a 43-29-3-1 record and will advance to the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs.
Maxime Legault, Matt Ellis, Phil Varone and Frederick Roy each scored for Rochester while Luke Adam collected two assists to give him five points (1+4) over his last two games. Rookie Jason Beattie, a defenseman out of Niagara University, made his professional debut for the Amerks and registered his first point with an assist. Goaltender Matt Hackett improved to 3-0-0 as an Amerk by stopping 30 of 31 shots on goal.
Hamilton’s Frederic St-Denis scored the Bulldogs’ lone goal while Jacob Gervais-Chouinard made 33 saves in goal.
After scoring three points in Saturday’s home win over Hamilton, Adam picked up where he left off in the first period of Sunday’s game by setting up Legault for the game’s first goal. Alex Biega intercepted a pass along the blue line and moved the puck to Leagult, who left a drop pass for Adam and then drove to the net. Adam waited for Leagult to reach the slot and then sent a pass back to Leagult that the winger was able to tip in past the Hamilton netminder to give Rochester a 1-0 lead.
Hamilton tied the game at one early in the second period. With the Bulldogs on the power play, they worked the puck around the offensive zone before St-Denis fired a wrist shot from the right face-off dot that found its way through traffic and into the back of the net for the equalizer. Greg Pateryn and Alex Belzile collected the assists.
The Amerks regained their lead when Beattie set up Ellis for the rookie defenseman’s first professional point. Beattie gained control of the puck along his own blue line and rushed up the right wing boards. After gaining entry into the Hamilton zone, Beattie sent a perfect cross-ice pass to Ellis, who pulled the puck to his backhand and slid it past Gervais-Chouinard for the goal. Rick Schofield also assisted on the goal.
Varone put the game out of reach when he made it 3-1 late in the third period, capitalizing on a feed from Dan Catenacci. Catenacci, who recorded a goal and an assist in his professional debut on Saturday night, made a cross-ice pass to Varone, who kicked the puck from his skates to his stick and knocked it in for the goal.
Frederick Roy then added an empty net goal off a pass from Adam, who recorded his second point of the night.
The Amerks have now finished the regular season and will advance to the Calder Cup Playoffs. While an opponent and dates have not yet been determined, tickets for home games in the first round go on sale at 10 a.m. on Monday, April 22.